Apple CEO Steve Jobs told invited press in London on Tuesday that the iPhone will be available beginning November 9, 2007. Jobs also confirmed Apple’s mobile partner in the U.K. will be O2.
Besides O2 and Apple’s own retail stores, the iPhone will be sold through Carphone Warehouse and will cost £269 ($535)—customers will not be given any kind of a discount on the handset. This is the same type of deal the company signed with AT&T in the United States. In addition to the £269 price tag, UK consumers will also have to sign an 18-month contract with O2.
Monthly service plans on O2 will cost £35 ($69), £45 ($89) and £55 ($109) and include unlimited data. Unlike the plans in the U.S., customers in the U.K. will also have access to a network of 7,500 Wi-Fi hotspots when they sign up for one of the iPhone plans. Wi-Fi hotspots are operated by The Cloud.
Talking about the negotiations with mobile carriers, Jobs said, “it wasn’t an economic decision, but a cultural one.”
“We wanted to know a few partners and find the one most compatible with us, so we dated lots of other carriers, but decided to marry O2. There’s a few upset girlfriends out there,” said Jobs.
Activating the iPhone in the UK will be done using Apple’s iTunes software, similar to how the company handled activations in the U.S.
Apple also ended speculation that Apple would announce the first 3G iPhone. The UK iPhone will use the EDGE network and support Wi-Fi where available. Jobs discussed 3G during the press event event, but said he believes Apple has a superior solution.
Apple recently announced a
deal with Starbucks in the U.S., allowing customers to purchase songs they hear in Starbucks. However, Jobs was noncommittal when asked if the same deal would be brought to the U.K.
“We’ll have to speak to Starbucks about that,” said Jobs.
Jobs said the company is really focused on the iPhone and developing the device.
“We’re already working on the next iPhone, and the one after that,” Jobs said, adding, “and we’re already thinking about the one after that.”
Peter Sayer of IDG News Service and Jonny Evans and Karen Haslam of Macworld UK contributed to this report.
Updated at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time with more information on pricing and availability.